President Obama Hosts First-Ever White House Demo Day

Event celebrates the role entrepreneurship plays in America’s economy

Rodney S. Sampson (Image: File)

President Obama hosted the first-ever White House Demo Day, celebrating the important role entrepreneurship plays in America’s economy. Unlike a private-sector Demo Day, where entrepreneurs and startups pitch their ideas to funders, these innovators from around the country got to “demo” their individual stories.

The Demo Day event showcased the need to give entrepreneurs from all walks of life a chance to turn their ideas into indispensable products and services, and included new announcements from The National Venture Capital Association, Kapor Capital, Opportunity Hub and other organizations expressing their commitment to inclusive entrepreneurship.

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What’s more, Opportunity Hub (OHUB) revealed its multiyear, inclusive entrepreneurship initiative on Periscope (follow @OHUBATL). “Fifteen years ago, I was probably the only black co-founder of a high growth, scalable, tech startup in Atlanta that had successfully raised seven-figure seed and series A rounds from angels and VCs. Today, I can count them all on one hand. This is tragic and must change,” says Rodney Sampson, OHUB’s founder and CEO. “Opportunity Hub, in solidarity with President Obama’s first-ever White House Demo Day, is excited to announce a multiyear initiative specifically designed to address the talent, knowledge, and early funding gaps impacting underrepresented communities as they strive to navigate their way through the innovation economy.”

Atlanta-based OHUB is launching a new inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment initiative in collaboration with The Iron Yard, CodeU, Troy Carter’s AF Square and Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center. The goal of OHUB’s multiyear initiative is to increase the number of investable minority, high-growth technology and technology-enabled startups and early-stage companies in the United States.

The initiative also includes: $1 million in full and partial code-school scholarships, allowing more than 100 minority students to attend The Iron Yard; financing for up to 10,000 students via a partnership with CodeU; $1 million in full and partial scholarships to OHUB’s Pre-Accelerator, which will provide a pipeline for over 100 diverse entrepreneurs to over 70 accelerators for pre-seed funding; and more angel investors of color via the Angel Investing Certificate Program with Troy Carter’s AF Square and Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center. This builds on OHUB’s past track record of housing and pipelining more than 100 inclusive startups that have gone on to raise more than $5 million in seed capital.

Related Story: Morehouse College To Increase Pool of Minority Angel Investors